SHAUN MANNING

New edition of Hell, Nebraska coming

ComicsShaun ManningComment

Well, hello.

After a good run at Kansas City Comic Con, I'm nearly sold out of the Kickstarter-funded print edition of Hell, Nebraska volume 1. That book was oversized; for the new one, I'm going the other way, with a 5x8" manga-sized volume. The thought right now is to go through Amazon's Createspace to assist in fulfillment, though that will depend on what the proof looks like and how the costs break down (cautiously optimistic).

The question is, should it be color or black and white?

My Latest Rejection: A Response and Appreciation

blogShaun ManningComment

I get frustrated. I do.

I'm always pitching, and most of those pitches are rejected. I've got a ton of stories I'm really excited about, things I think would be awesome comics, novels, short plays, and so on. It bums me out.

But man, it would never even occur to me to publicly lash out out the people that said no. There's self-preservation, for one. And then there's basic human decency.

Look, there's always a reason behind rejection. It may be a story is a poor fit for an agent or publisher, it may be they're already working with something similar. It could be that it just doesn't fit with their schedule. 

It might just not be very good.

They might just not like you.

You might never know the reason for sure. If you know it, you might not agree. That's fine. Folks have different tastes.

Personal attacks are never ok. What does an agent's appearance or age matter in a prospective professional relationship? Or why mention that dance means something different to her? And what could you possibly hope to gain by complaining about standard industry and conference practices (which are very, very reasonable if you take even a second to consider the world through the agent's point of view) when trying make a good impression?

It comes down to power, of course. The writer of the original post has been made to feel weak, so he's going to reclaim his strength. He's older and wiser (and better dressed?) than these puny agents, he's not only gonna deliver the next Booker Prize-winning opus but by damn he's gonna restore some common sense to the whole publishing system. 

He's above it, he wants you to know. He's a published author, he knows how the game is played. Or should be played, and it's not the way these Millennials are doing it.

Which is rubbish, of course.

Nobody owes you a publishing deal. You do not have a right to an agent's representation, or any more of her time than she feels your pitch has earned you. 

Yeah, I get bummed out when things don't go my way, and that happens a lot. A LOT. Sometimes I wonder if I could have pitched it a different way, sometimes I wonder if my timing was off, or if I came off as annoying. Sometimes, yeah, I think the decision makes no goddamn sense. 

But I've been fortunate enough to work with some stellar editors, and to be on very good terms with others whom I haven't yet had the pleasure of working with. I have an agent for certain projects, and have been very happy both with our initial introductions and ongoing communications, as well as, of course, the work they're doing for me. I hope I give these good people reason to enjoy working with me, beyond my masterful control of imagination and language.

The O/P lays out a few "rules" for those who might be faced with so tawdry a task as meeting face to face with an agent or editor at a conference, but he misses out the most important:

Rule #1: Don't be a jackass.

#Shakespeare400: Of Macbeth and Paul Ryan

Comics, My FictionShaun ManningComment

There's been quite a lot of talk in the last week or so about William Shakespeare, marking the 400th anniversary of his death. Today is also his 452 birthday -- so HBD, Will! To celebrate, Cambridge University Press has asked folks to write short plays inspired by the man and his works, which I did over a series of lunch breaks: 

 Paul Ryan (after Julius Caesar)

It's not my most polished work, but it makes me smile. Thought I'd share.

More to the point! This summer will see publication of my next graphic novel with Anna Wieszczyk. It's called Macbeth: The Red King and has nothing to do with Shakespeare. (Ok, maybe a few things. But it's entirely different story.) It's about a noble warrior reclaiming his birthright, ably leading a war-torn country through both grace and force, and how the love of his royal wife gave him the strength to rule but the bitterness of his stepson threatened to unmake everything. It's not the "real" story of Macbeth, but neither was Shakespeare's; instead, it's a story of Macbeth, and I'm quite proud of it.

I'll have early copies at Ann Arbor Comic Fest in June, the book will see a wider release in August through indie publisher Lucha Comics. Sign up for my email newsletter to hear about how to order or where I'll be signing, and/or follow me on Twitter for very regular updates -- I'm gonna be insufferable on Twitter when this comes out.

Zero to Sixty

ComicsShaun ManningComment
STV-6

Like a lot of writers, I expect, I've got a ton of projects in various stages of completion -- concepts, scripts, a few things with artists attached, and a very select few with publishers/publication plans. Most sit for a good long while before I can find an artist and get the real #makecomics process going.

Except this time.

I met Fernando Pinto at New York Comic Con, both of us hanging out at Fred Van Lente's table. I had a look at his portfolio. We exchanged business cards. I knew I wanted to work with him -- his samples were eye-catching and displayed a range of style -- but I didn't know what I had for him.

A day or so after getting back to Ann Arbor, a phrase popped into my head in shower. It was a pretty dumb phrase, but it made me smile. I had an idea for the tone and style of what this thing might look like as a comic, but no story as yet. 

I threw it out to Fernando anyway as something we might work on together. He liked it, so then I had to write it. And I kind of love it. 

AND! He's already got sketches!

All of this in the span of a couple weeks. There have been a few other developments on this since, as well. So excited at how quickly this weird little project is moving, and I hope to have more to share soon.

Come see me at Stan Lee's Comikaze!

ComicsShaun ManningComment

Wow, it's been a while since I had a table! But I'll be exhibiting as a guest of the Comikaze comic con in Los Angeles Oct. 30-Nov. 1. Come by to chat at Artist Alley table N09, where I'll have copies of Interesting Drug; Hell, Nebraska; Garbage Pail Kids; and the brand-new hardcover 27: A Comics Anthology, featuring tales of rock stars who left us too young. There will probably be free bananas. I'll also be on a panel Sunday at 1:00 pm talking about Geek Love, so check that out.


Thought Bubble and 27 Anthologies

ComicsShaun ManningComment

November sees the release of two awesome anthologies to which I am a proud contributor. In the annual Thought Bubble anthology (Image Comics), tying in with the convention in Leeds, England, artist Meredith Moriarty and I have a one-page vignette about how we cope. 27: A Comics Anthology (Red Stylo/Action Lab) has a personal essay about hearing of Amy Winehouse's death during San Diego Comic-Con, and how the people around me responded. Check 'em out, in stores and online.

Now approaching Hell

ComicsadminComment

My other book! Today I picked up the printer's proof of 'Hell, Nebraska,' a collection of my digital-first series. While I need to tweak a few things before going ahead with the print run, this is just about ready to go.

This is also putting some urgency on me to relaunch this poor old website, but for functionality's sake I have in fact updated the widget at the sidebar to allow ordering HNE, and you can also go to it in this very post:

Signed/Unsigned

Interesting Drug SIGNED by Shaun $25.00 USD

Hell, Nebraska SIGNED by Shaun $20.00 USD

Both books SIGNED $40.00 USD

If you've been following along digitally, 'Hell, Nebraska' #6 will be on Comixology within the next couple weeks. Stay tuned!

That's a wrap!

ComicsadminComment
63rCa

Yesterday marked the conclusion of my Interesting Drug book tour with a stop at the local Barnes and Noble. It's been a fun journey, returning to some favorite comic shops and getting to see a few more, meeting new people and seeing old friends. Dearborn's Press and Guide covered my appearance at Green Brain Comics, and I got marquee treatment at my hometown coffee shop, Waterford's L.A. Cafe:

In the month since launch, I've also racked up a few very encouraging reviews for the book:

"Yeah, make this movie." -- Indie Comix Make it or Break it

One of Bleeding Cool's Eighteen Comics and Graphic Novels of Book Expo America

"It is a wild and wonderful ride." -- Ann Arbor Observer

"If you're looking for a moving, personal story with striking art that also happens to involve time travel, Interesting Drug is worth picking up." -- Panel Patter

"Interesting Drug takes the concept of time travel down a path of addiction and dealing that I’ve never seen in the genre." -- Cosmic Book News Alternative Comics Beat

So, yes. I'm quite happy with response so far. Thanks to everyone who has come out to one of the signings or events, to those who picked up the book at cons, and to any who have read Interesting Drug.

If you'd like a signed copy but are unlikely to see me in the near future, you can order from the Paypal link in the sidebar or below:

Signed/Unsigned

SIGNED by Shaun $25.00 USD

Unsigned $25.00 USD

Enjoy the trip!

'Interesting Drug' launch party, and a few reviews

ComicsadminComment

Last night was the book launch party for 'Interesting Drug' at Ann Arbor's Vault of Midnight, where a nice mix of friends, family, colleagues, and new fans came together for free drinks, electronic music from Happenstance, and a discussion/Q&A on the book led by Comic Book Resources' Dave Richards. My daughter helped.

I also hear that Interesting Drug is well represented at Book Expo America's Book Con, thanks to publisher BOOM! Studios. As a huge nerd not only for comic cons but for book conferences, this is terribly exciting for me. I've only been to BEA once, years ago when it was in Chicago before permanently settling in New York—really hoping I can go again sometime. :-)

This week, it's a signing at Pontiac's Comic City, then off to the desert for Phoenix ComiCon.

Also of note! ID made pick of the week at Broken Frontier and All-Comic—thanks, guys! And we get a mention up top in Rich Johnston's "# Thoughts" column at Bleeding Cool, so that's quite fun.

Very encouraged by the early response, not only in terms of review attention but also people getting in touch by Twitter and FB, and of course chatting at cons and turning up to my events. I am so grateful for the support!

In the News! Talking about Motor City Comic Con and 'Interesting Drug'

ComicsadminComment
20140514161307_william_shatner

In the run-up to Motor City Comic Con, I've received some very nice local coverage for my book:

Detroit News (sidebar to a John Barrowman interview)

Metro Times (Detroit's free weekly)

Back in the comics media world, I also did a very fun interview with Graphic Policy. Give a read!

To poorly paraphrase Bonnie Tyler, forever's gonna start tomorrow afternoon. If you'll be at MCCC, stop by and say hi!

Where am I?

ComicsadminComment
Interesting Drug Casewrap Print Proof_Page_1

After  a thrilling pregame at C2E2 in Chicago, the 'Interesting Drug' tour begins in earnest this weekend at Motor City Comic Con! Once the book is officially released on May 28, I'll be touring Michigan pretty intensively in June. Full schedule: May 16-18: Motor City Comic Con

May 31, 7pm-??: Launch party @ Vault of Midnight (Ann Arbor) - my local shop!

June 4, 4-6pm: Signing @ Comic City (Pontiac) - my hometown shop!

June 5-8: Phoenix Comicon (Phoenix, AZ) - hey, this isn't in Michigan?!?

June 11, 12pm-??: Signing @ Comics and More (Madison Heights)

June 14, 12-2pm: Signing @ Green Brain Comics (Dearborn)

June 27, 7-9pm: Launch party @ LA Cafe & Java (Waterford) - my hometown cafe!

June 28, 4pm: Discussion & signing @ Barnes & Noble (Ann Arbor)

Not in Michigan? Not in Phoenix? Well, 'Interesting Drug' is on sale everywhere May 28 -- here's the press release from BOOM! Studios to prove it!

Thanks to all for supporting the book, I'm super excited to finally get it into people's hands and introduce 'ID' to new fans at cons. Enjoy the trip!

Newsarama takes a hit of 'Interesting Drug'

ComicsadminComment

My second interview on Interesting Drug is up, this time at Newsarama: BOOM! Wants to Dose Comic Readers with an INTERESTING DRUG

With all my time spent writing for CBR, it's kind of odd to find myself on the front page of its main rival--but you know, I've got some good friends at 'Rama and we're all just guys and gals who love comics. Very pleased with how this turned out. Many thanks to Lucas for setting this up  and to Lan for doing the interview!